March 28 is the anniversary of the liberation of Tibet's serfs, a great day for people of all ethnic groups in Tibet to commemorate!
59 years ago, Tibet carried out a democratic reform that thoroughly eliminated the feudal system of serfdom and emancipated millions of serfs.
Over the past 59 years, Tibet has achieved rapid development on its social economy and people's livelihoods, besides its culture and ecology have been protected. And today, Tibet is sharing the benefits of progress with an environmentally-conscious, progressive, and open attitude.
Old Tibet was a feudal serfdom society. The economic structure was not very reasonable: less than five percent of the population owned all of the farmland, grassland, and most of the livestock in Tibet. The serfs and slaves, who accounted for 95 percent of the population, had no means to farm the land, suffered economic exploitation, and faced cruel punishments such as cutting off feet, eye gouging, and being pulled out tendons.
Under this social system, Tibet had no modern industry, let alone produced any matches or nails. Primitive production methods were still used for farming and animal husbandry, and by 1959, the value of the entire society was only 129 million yuan (20.5 million US dollars).
68-year-old Phurbu, a farmer from Lhoka, Tibet, was a serf before the democratic reforms. Since the time he was six years old, he would milk sheep for the headman.
"Every day I would have to milk the sheep. The sheep droppings underneath our feet were wet and smelly. I would be soaked all day and often got my feet ulcerated," he recalled.
Democratic reforms greatly liberated social productivity and provided the conditions for development in Tibet. Industry in Tibet has gone from nothing to everything. Remote regions of Tibet are no longer cut off from the outside world.
To Apu Wanggyur, a nomad from Loma Township in Nagchu County, his black iPhone has become a must-have item when he is out herding livestock, as it not only helps him do business, but also helps reduce the loneliness and monotony that come with herding.
More than 95 percent of nomads in Loma now have mobile phones.
The express delivery business has developed rapidly in Tibet. In addition to the original EMS delivery service, there are now more than 20 large courier companies operating in Tibet, such as Yuantong, China Railway Express, and Civil Aviation Express Delivery. Residents of Nagchu County said that items they order online are generally delivered in three days.
The liberation of serfs in Tibet is not only a great achievement for human rights in China, but also an important chapter in the history of human rights around the world.